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Powell's Books Presents Katherine Sharp Landdeck in Conversation With Nell Bright, Moderated by Tracy V. Wilson
Historian Katherine Sharp Landdeck’s THE WOMEN WITH SILVER WINGS (Crown) is the thrilling true story of the daring female aviators who helped the United States win World War II — only to be forgotten by the country they served. Landdeck introduces us to these young women as they meet even-tempered, methodical Nancy Love and demanding visionary Jacqueline Cochran, the trailblazing pilots who first envisioned sending American women into the air, and whose rivalry would define the Women Airforce Service Pilots. While not authorized to serve in combat, the WASP helped train male pilots for service abroad and ferried bombers and pursuits across the country. Thirty-eight of them would not survive the war. But even taking into account these tragic losses, Love and Cochran’s social experiment seemed to be a resounding success — until, with the tides of war turning and fewer male pilots needed in Europe, Congress clipped the women’s wings. The program was disbanded, the women sent home. But the bonds they’d forged never failed, and over the next few decades, they came together to fight for recognition as the military veterans they were — and for their place in history. Landdeck will be joined in conversation by WASP Nell Bright, with moderation by Tracy V. Wilson, cohost of the Stuff You Missed in History Class podcast.

Aug 28, 2020 05:00 PM in Pacific Time (US and Canada)

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Speakers

Katherine Sharp Landdeck
Katherine Sharp Landdeck is an associate professor of history at Texas Woman’s University, the home of the WASP archives. A Guggenheim Fellow at the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum and a graduate of the University of Tennessee, where she earned her PhD, Landdeck has received numerous awards for her work on the WASP and has appeared as an expert on NPR’s “Morning Edition,” PBS, and the History Channel. Her work has been published in The Washington Post, The Atlantic, and HuffPost, as well as in numerous academic and aviation publications. Landdeck is a licensed pilot who flies whenever she can.
Nell Bright
Nell Stevenson Bright was a member of Women Airforce Service Pilots Class 43-W-7 and flew B-25s and B-26s (among others) during World War II. After graduating from West Texas A&M University in 1941 Nell learned to fly in Amarillo, Texas. When she learned about Jacqueline Cochran's training program she wrote to her right away and was admitted to the 7th class of trainees. Upon graduation Nell went as part of a class of twenty women to B-25 school at Mather Field, CA, then served at Biggs Field in El Paso, TX. While at Biggs Field she flew B-25s, B-26s and others primarily for tow-target missions in which they towed a target sleeve 2,500 feet behind their plane and then gunners training for war fired upon them with live ammunition. After the WASP were disbanded in December 1944 Nell went on to marry and have children, but then became one of the first female stockbrokers in Phoenix, AZ. She turned 99 in June and is living in Salt Lake City near her daughter.
Tracy V. Wilson
Tracy V. Wilson has cohosted Stuff You Missed in History Class with Holly Frey since 2013. Tracy’s love of history started to grow in college, with four required humanities courses that gave her a more holistic way to approach the past and how it affects the present. Tracy spends her downtime much like she spends her time at work: reading, writing, tinkering and brooking only the most delightful nonsense.